As TSIC expands its work in the field of Impact Investing, we have been exploring how faith-based investing / finance can play a catalytic role in providing much needed initial capital, to de-risk investment opportunities and crowd-in other investors.
It was instructive that there were side-events on faith-based finance at two important conferences recently attended by Charles Selestine, TSIC’s Qatar Director.
At the Global Impact Investor Network’s Investor Forum held in Amsterdam in October 2019, a side-event Faith-Based Impact Investing Workshop, brought together practitioners who discussed their experiences, opportunities and challenges in expanding faith-based investing for social and environmental benefit. Similarly, the Faith in Finance Roundtable was held on the side-lines of the Ethical Finance Conference in Edinburgh, which also took place in October.
In both events, the potential of Islamic Finance to contribute was widely discussed. Practical examples of how Zakah was used as catalytic capital by UNDP in Indonesia was highlighted. A Discussion Paper related to this subject was circulated at a CEOs Roundtable held this month at the College of Islamic Studies, HBK University, Qatar. The Paper looked at how Social Financing Models can be used as financial tools to help fragile economies.
While still regarded as niche area, the inherent social ethos in Islamic Finance has resulted in many financial instruments developed and used over centuries, exclusively for social benefit. Harnessing the power of Islamic Social Finance (ISF) to effect innovative financing solutions is an area that TSIC is particularly interested in. We are exploring ISF within the UK and in other countries, and look forward to sharing more about our learning and work in this field.